Manuel has no ideas in dunce’s corner – Man City 1 Hull City 1

Trust, like reputation, is a priceless virtue. A highly valued but incredibly vulnerable commodity, it accumulates over a prolonged period. Conversely, it’s always at risk if new realities crash in and established perceptions are swept away.

Manuel Pellegrini now finds himself at a crossroads in his brief, but hitherto highly successful time as manager of Manchester City. The trust and belief in the affable, professorial-like Chilean is under scrutiny like never before.

Lacking in ideas - The pressure is mounting on Manuel Pellegrini. Courtesy@MCFC

Lacking in ideas – The pressure is mounting on Manuel Pellegrini. Courtesy@MCFC

But the ‘Engineer’ does not stand alone in the harsh glare of close examination as Manchester City’s malaise continues.

Director of Football Txiki Begiristain, Captain Vincent Kompany and the rest of the millionaires who have the honour of wearing the cherished City shirt, have to be called to account for an increasingly unacceptable turn of events.

And before anybody feels like wading in with their size 12 boots, this is not a knee-jerk, glory-hunting take on City’s ‘stop-start’ season so far. City are no different to any other club – they have no divine right to success – but major questions continue to go unanswered about alarming judgment calls and performance levels.

Below par - Kompany and to a lesser degree Nasri need to recapture their best form. Courtesy@MCFC

Below par – Kompany and, to a lesser degree, Nasri need to recapture their best form. Courtesy@MCFC

The idiom ‘a week is a long time in politics’ could just so easily be bastardised to ‘seven days being a long time in football’ – just contrast the two 1-1 draws contested most recently by City.

The point gained at Stamford Bridge – it should’ve been three – showed City to be superior to Chelsea, actually shut Jose Mourinho’s garrulous gob (sadly only temporarily) and indicated that the Champions of England had every chance of remaining just that, come May 24th, 2015.

The point salvaged at The Etihad against Hull, courtesy of a sublime James Milner free kick, came at the end of a miserable, disjointed and abject affair, where City looked like they’d fail to score, even with a $100 bill in a Thai brothel.

Game saver - James Milner came off the bench to salvage a point with a free kick of the highest technical ability. Courtesy@MCFC

Game saver – James Milner came off the bench to salvage a point with a free kick of the highest technical ability. Courtesy@MCFC

Poles apart in terms of tempo, commitment, passion, guile, creativity and tactical nous, City were ponderous, lacklustre, clueless and naive.

Pellegrini’s post match comments that his side was suffering from a ‘…lack of ideas…’ was a damning indictment on himself, his coaching staff and his players.

They should all be made to ‘face the wall’ in the dunce’s corner – let’s face it they’re all useless when it comes to corners!

Where’s Albert Einstein when you need him to take First Team training at the wonderful City Football Academy?

Despite never having any UEFA coaching badges to his name, Albert worked out that ‘doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results’ was the definition of insanity…WILL SOMEBODY PLEASE PASS THE MESSAGE ON TO MANUEL, HIS COACHES & THE PLAYERS – FFS!

Scandalous - City's corners are crap - let's not beat about the bush! Courtesy@MCFC

Scandalous – City’s corners are a joke – let’s not beat about the bush! Courtesy@MCFC

At least the old Maine Road humour was out in force at the Etihad, as supporters bet against each other as to whether the next City corner would beat the ‘first man’.

Not for a single moment did any in the 45,223 crowd entertain the prospect of a goal actually emanating from any of City’s 13 corners.

Dozens upon dozens of City corner kicks have presented no threat to the opposition all season long. The last time City had the ball in the net from a corner was Martin Demichelis’ equaliser at Arsenal in a 2-2 draw on September 13th. Statisticians claim it is now 220 corner kicks City have taken, without a goal resulting.

Rare event - Martin Demichelis was the last City player to score from corner...in September 2014!Courtesy@MCFC

Rare event – Martin Demichelis was the last City player to score from corner…in September 2014!Courtesy@MCFC

Mithering Manuel went on ‘…we don’t have the creative players in this moment to create the space and it is very difficult against a team like Hull, who defend very well.’

If that’s the case MP and Txiki, why buy the players that you have in the past 20 months and award contracts to some of the others last summer?

Only Yaya Toure was missing from the established nucleus of City’s title-winning sides, whereas Wilfried Bony has still to arrive and make his presence felt.

Out in Africa - City are missing the midfield influence of Yaya as the Ivorian goes for African Cup of Nations glory. Courtesy@MCFC

Out in Africa – City are missing the midfield influence of Yaya as the Ivorian goes for African Cup of Nations glory. Courtesy@MCFC

How on earth can Pellegrini complain about teams who come and defend in numbers, when his own team can’t defend against the aforementioned bus-parkers, on the rare occasions they have the temerity to launch a counter-attack?

City’s defence is a akin to an anxious bed-wetting child – it hasn’t seen a clean sheet for weeks – the last shut-out coming nine games ago before Christmas in the 3-0 win over Crystal Palace.

It was Keystone Cop ‘defending’ as the ball zipped around as if in a pinball machine – brilliantly saved by Hart, before ricocheting off Zabaleta, Fernandinho and the post before Hull’s David Meyler finally buried it past Hart in the 35th minute.

No entry - City have failed to keep a clean sheet in 9 matches since beating Palace 3-0 before Christmas. Courtesy@MCFC

No entry – City have failed to keep a clean sheet in 9 matches since beating Palace 3-0 before Christmas. Courtesy@MCFC

Hull would have already been one up if Elmohamaday’s header had been an inch or two lower, rather than smashing off Hart’s bar.

It’s almost treason to say it, but in his present vein of form, Kompany is the poorest defender in City’s line-up.

Hindered by injuries and seemingly uncomfortable when trying to maintain a high defensive line, the skipper is frequently diving in, missing tackles and leaving acres of space for opponents to exploit.

It may be that Kompany, who prefers to play in a deeper lying defensive formation – as it was with Roberto Mancini – will never be at his best in Pellegrini’s preferred set-up. Whatever the case, the Belgian is not above criticism and needs to sort himself out, sharpish.

Will the real Captain Kompany please reveal himself - Vinny is struggling at the moment . Courtesy@MCFC

Will the real Captain Kompany please reveal himself – Vinny is struggling at the moment . Courtesy@MCFC

Many of City’s ills rest with the ‘F’-ing midfield of Fernando and Fernandinho – two flaky Brazilians who, quite frankly, aren’t good enough for where City aspire to go.

It’s one of Pellegrini’s blind spots that he selects these two holding midfielders who just don’t work as a combination.

Dino – at £30m+ from Shakhtar Donetsk – was supposed to be the stellar signing in the summer of 2013. A dynamic box-to-box, goal-scoring midfielder, he was supposed to be a ‘game-changer’.

Not cutting it! - Brazilian Fernandinho may have won the Premier League with City but his performance levels have dipped. Courtesy@MCFC

Not cutting it! – Brazilian Fernandinho may have won the Premier League with City but his performance levels have dipped. Courtesy@MCFC

Nando, at a much cheaper £12m, was billed as the defensive midfield shield who would add steel and resilience in front of City’s back four, finally, finally giving the team the upgrade on the long-departed and much-lamented Nigel De Jong.

Javi Garcia didn’t manage it and Fernando is light years away. City would do well to offload their ‘F-men’ this summer and bring in the likes of Sami Khedira on a Bosman from Real Madrid.

Make no mistake City were poor and 74% possession and 18 attempts on goal do not tell the story.

Stonewall penalty - David Silva was denied when inept ref Jon Moss refused to award  a spot kick to City. Courtesy@MCFC

Stonewall penalty – David Silva was denied when inept ref Jon Moss refused to award a spot kick to City. Courtesy@MCFC

That said, referee Jonathan Moss – which rhymes with dross and isn’t too far from toss-er – denied City a stonewall penalty when David Silva was bundled over by Alex Bruce. Even Bruce’s dad, Steve, the Tiger’s manager admitted he’d seen penalties given in such circumstances, that’s Manager-speak for ‘nailed on penalty’.

When City did create chances, Sergio Aguero displayed sublime skill in controlling Nasri’s lobbed pass with his right foot and then shooting with his left, only to see the ball rebound off Hull keeper, Allan McGregor’s bar.

Edin Dzeko forced the ex-Rangers stopper into a fine save when he volleyed a Zabaleta cross from 10 yards out.

So close - Dzeko forced a great save from Hull keeper McGregor. Courtesy@MCFC

So close – Dzeko forced a great save from Hull keeper McGregor. Courtesy@MCFC

Hull boss Bruce made the elephantine claim that his team should have won, but as sub-standard as City were, this was never a game they deserved to lose.

When Tom Huddlestone fouled Aguero in added time, it presented Milner with the free kick opportunity to snatch a point.

Always praised for his industry and lung-busting efforts, the man who could leave City on a Bosman this summer, conjured up some wonderful technique to curve his 25-yard strike around the wall into the narrowest of gaps.

The Equalizer - James Milner has the briefest of goal celebrations with Pablo Zabaleta. Courtesy@MCFC

The Equalizer – James Milner has the briefest of goal celebrations with Pablo Zabaleta. Courtesy@MCFC

Pellegrini and Begiristain have seen fit to spend/squander tens of millions of pounds on the likes of Dino, Nando, Jovetic and Mangala – none of whom have yet given real value for money – surely it’s not beyond their wit to re-sign Milner?

He proves his worth when players adjudged to be ‘better’ than him don’t pull their weight…and then there’s the small matter that he is homegrown and loves City.

MP’s substitution of Silva for Jovetic was perplexing as is City’s inability to ensure Merlin can link up with Sergio during games.

So near yet so far - Sergio's strike hit the Hull City bar. Courtesy@MCFC

So near yet so far – Sergio’s strike hit the Hull City bar. Courtesy@MCFC

Tactically, Pellegrini has to find a way of combating teams who will try to keep Silva and Aguero 30 or 40 yards apart. This forces Aguero to come deeper to collect the ball, before then having to work his way through four or five defenders to get a clear sight of goal.

Silva is at his best as a central playmaker and Aguero excels when playing off the shoulder off the last defender.

Pellegrini said his players weren’t tired, in which case, why play at such a pedestrian pace with woefully predictable results?

Stand up performance - Clichy was one of the few City players who emerged with any degree of credit from a desperate showing against Hull. Courtesy@MCFC

Stand up performance – Clichy was one of the few City players who emerged with any degree of credit from a desperate showing against Hull. Courtesy@MCFC

Nasri was guilty – time and again – of slowing play down, taking one touch too many, pivoting with the ball and going nowhere fast.

With 42 points still up for grabs, it’ll be a while before it becomes mathematically impossible for City to retain the title. Pragmatically, a defeat at Stoke in midweek and a Chelsea win over Everton, would just about see the PL crown heading to London SW6.

Game over -  If Stoke complete the double over City on Wednesday night and Chelsea beat Everton, the title will surely be London bound. Courtesy@MCFC

Game over – If Stoke complete the double over City on Wednesday night and Chelsea beat Everton, the title will surely be London bound. Courtesy@MCFC

It’s beginning to fall a little flat when City’s star players trot out ‘We Fight ‘Till the End’ remarks in post match interviews. The number of games are running out – the same as the patience of the fans who are fed up with platitudes.

Past glories and warm memories count for nothing at present. Trust and reputations are now on the line if City want to be recognised as perennial winners in English football.

#WonderingWhetherToContinueToTrustOurMP

By David Walker

 

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36 Comments

  1. February 8, 2015  6:31 pm by RickA Reply

    I think Hull City made Man City look not good. Therefore they should have lost, and deserve to lose. Every team have off days and this was one of them. You can't win them all. I think Chelsea are the team of the season, but that can still change! Man City are looking a bit stale at the moment. Spurs are the team building momentum. They are flying with wins plucked out at the last minute with some games. Van Gaal does not know what day it is yet never mind what team he has!

    • February 8, 2015  7:04 pm by David Walker Reply

      Of course we can't win them all, nobody can but, as bad as Man City were, Hull didn't do enough to desreve to win. At this rate City will hand Chelsea the title, despite being the better team in both head-to-head draws this season. It's bloody frustrating because we have the taloent to win back-to-back titles, but sadly it seems, not the nous or application.

  2. February 8, 2015  6:38 pm by guy burke Reply

    Where to start ? I am always a glass half full man but even I was chunnering with the best of them ! Piss poor from first minute to last , the attitude seemed to be " its only hull , we will walk it " !! Not good enough and everyone must take there share of the blame. Wednesday is now a must win , do not care what it costs but yaya must return

    • February 8, 2015  7:06 pm by David Walker Reply

      Sorry GB, there's no way Yaya or Wilfried will be playing at Stoke on Wednesday. Wish them both the best tonight and then they can get stuck in from Newcastle onwards. 14 wins will see us through ;-)

  3. February 8, 2015  6:41 pm by Toby Teasdale Reply

    Can't fault your analysis.

    Don't want to say to much as it will be seen as disloyal. However, as you say the fault is not Pellegrini's alone, but it's his head that will roll.

    This is reminiscent of when Mancini was undermined.

    What's the common denominator?

    • February 8, 2015  7:14 pm by David Walker Reply

      I 'ckin hate writing blogs like this but there's no point trying to blow smoke up backsides! I'm MCFC through and through, but I'll call it as I see it. Like the rest of us I pay my money, I support the team on the day, never boo a Blue, but I'm damned if I'm going to pay lip service & show blind faith. I like MP in a big way BUT, as you say, there's more to it than that. Why isn't Txiki stepping up to the mark when these signings are chronically under performing?

      I want MP to put it right and stay as manager. If that were to change I'd welcome Pep Guardiola. Would Patrick Vieira get a shot as he brings his EDS boys through the ranks? Do the MCFC hierarchy like the cut (and histrionics) of Diego Simeone after he smashed Real Madrid 4-0?

      First things first...I'm off to Stoke!

  4. February 8, 2015  7:01 pm by @lghualways Reply

    Where to start?!?! Am throwing a party when i arrive in manchester next week. Going to invite the city defenders in the hope they'll stop playing like strangers. Skippers form is beyond worrying. As for midfield we have enough body of work to see the 2 F's cannot play together. The disgrace that was yesterday's first half saw me screaming to play the kids or something to see some heart and pride. There are 5 or 6 playing for their careers but FFP has us tied to their contracts. I am still so annoyed as cannot understand how they look so disjointed

    • February 8, 2015  7:24 pm by David Walker Reply

      Let's hope we down the Magpies and start flying back to the top of the PL ASAP! If MP decides he doesn't want to alter his 4-4-2 stance or he keeps playing the 'F' ing midfield then he will only have himself to blame for his demise. Yes, FFP hasn't helped, but nonetheless we still have the talent to retain the title IF these players pull their bloody fingers out! Safe flight and a pleasant stay in sunny Manc ;-)

  5. February 8, 2015  7:03 pm by Richard Cooper Reply

    Well David, that was pretty awful.
    With no disrespect to Hull why did we start with F and F (the Brothers Grimm) when we had Milner (MOTM last week) Navas and Lampard on the bench
    The Hull goal was a comedy of errors
    Why only "up" the tempo in the last 15 - 20 minutes - should have started like that and put Hull on the back foot from kick off
    Corners as always dreadful
    Our home form is now seriously concerning and if we don't cure it soon we could find ourselves looking seriously at our top 4 credibility.
    City had a good reaction at Chelsea after the abject Boro game - let's hope we can do it again at Stoke (not the easiest place)
    Next home game Newcastle - we know how teams play at the Etihad, defend well and break well so please please sort it out Manuel with a higher tempo which we hopefully will get with the inclusion of the more direct Wilfried and of course having wingers on the pitch might help !

    • February 8, 2015  7:19 pm by David Walker Reply

      Superb synopsis as always RC - thanks again.

  6. February 8, 2015  7:05 pm by pete lynch Reply

    Abject performance David and your summary is bang on. Milner has to start unless injured from now on and at most we only play one of the F's

    • February 8, 2015  7:18 pm by David Walker Reply

      Can't see why we should ever want Fernando to don a City shirt again - every time I see him he's out of his depth. Milly deserves his place on merit at present, but if he is seeking guarantees about future 1st team appearances then I think that's wrong. No player should be given assurances, they should be picked on merit and if Jimmy is playing well enough he should get in the First XI. Cheers Pete.

  7. February 8, 2015  7:40 pm by blob Reply

    I really think a huge overhaul is necessary in the summer.
    Fernandinho hasn't been anywhere near his best this season and in fernando it looks like we have bought a player who can't make a simple pass.
    I have to say I think the milner love in is a little over the top from a lot of fans, he is a great worker, but he doesn't have great ability. Bayern barca and real don't have a single "milneresque" player in their line ups, so we can't really have one either, if we want to reach that level.
    Zab has me concerned, doesn't look dynamic going forward and looks scared of a challenge, instead waiting for his man to get in the box.
    Kompany has me very worried, if it wasnt for the front four (plus yaya) that started and failed miserably to create and score against hull, his numerous disasters against Liverpool last season would have been our "gerrards slip", and it would have been liverpools title.
    Kompany actually looks like he has forgotten he was changed into a centreback all those years ago, and if mangala is ever going to be a capable defender I would seriously consider playing demi and mangala together at cb, and have kompany next to yaya in midfield, chasing around after the man with the ball, like he so desperately wants to.
    Silva doesn't look in great form either, misplacing simple passes, and aguero just seems desperate to do it all himself and runs past one or two, and then into three or four.
    I would happily have this season end right now, as I'm currently concerned that looking behind ourselves in the table is going to be a lot more important for the remainder of this season that looking up at chelsea.

    • February 8, 2015  7:57 pm by David Walker Reply

      A grim outlook indeed sir, but despite your obvious and well founded misgivings I still believe we will be fine for a top four finish. W2e shouyldn't even be having this 'conversation' it's bloody scandalous we should even enterain the prospect of missing out on CL. You never know MP, Txiki and the 'Boys' could confound us and win the next 13 or 14 PL games ;-)

      Totally agree on the clear out but who actually does the buying at MCFC - Txiki or MP?

      Say goodbye to Dino and Nando and lose the F-Factor, along with the Balkans trio Jovetic, Dzeko, Kolarov. Lampard will finally go to NYC and does Demi have the passion for another PL season? He's a smashing player but if only Martin had come to us five years ago! If Yaya is desperate to go then let him IF we can get Pogba. Reus and Khedira can be bought for a combined fee of £20m-£25m, I think Barkley's destined for the Etihad but we'll also need a top striker.

      Lest we forget the likes of Thierry Ambrose and Kelechi Iheanacho if the EDS and youth is to have a role to play and, of course there's always Lopes and Rekik to possibly return.

      I fully understand your take on Milner, BUT we need homegrown players and in fairness Milner does bring something to the party. He's not top drawer but neither is every Barca, Bayern or Real Madrid player.

      Thanks for taking time to comment so comprehensively.

      • February 8, 2015  8:14 pm by blob Reply

        My biggest concern is that our much needed overhaul looks very difficult to do unless we are completely free of financial constraints.
        Agree on the balkan lads, and milner, I don't want him to go, I just don't want him as a likely starter for most matches.
        Youthful revitalization looks an absolute must, hopefully rekik and denayer can form a possible 10 year long plus partnership within the next couple of years!!
        Or at least one of them is good enough to replace boyata. :-))
        I'm not sold on Barkley what so ever, looks very raw for a player with such huge hype surrounding him.
        Would love pogba, however I think we would have to go for 3 in the middle if we had him, as he looks more of a luxury than yaya is, although with time he could, and I believe he will, come to be the most complete centre mid in world football, unless we had a world class pure cdm next to him, such as khedira or mascherano.. I'm not sure if there are any more than that... I am just not sure if he could play next to a sole midfielder.
        Before my mid season blues, I though that reus was the missing piece, a guy who can score from range, is a one man counterattack and is more than willing to run at people, pacey too.

        • February 8, 2015  9:10 pm by David Walker Reply

          There are a few missing pieces but they are all obtainable. From a fiscal perspective we will have a much better hand to play this summer, especially when you consider we could potentially raise £80m+ before we start digging into fresh money. There are rumours of a big commercial deal coming in that will help underpin some top deals - let's hope it's true.

  8. February 8, 2015  8:06 pm by Atong Reply

    MP is Done.. We can see the easy game he lose at Home.4-4-2 Fomation again ? two striker ? why not use 4-5-1 as usually ? bench Milner ? Blame players Lack of Ideas ? MP need to be Responsible why Man City Had Lose..We need A Good Manager . MP can coach 5th Team below at EPL and Malaga . Diego Simone is the Man Who Can Drive Man City to European Champion.. He Young , Talented , Good Formation Tactics. He Tactics now can beat any of the team such as Real Madrid. Good Set Piece ..Now we must beat Barca . If Man City Lose , I think Man City Can Sack this Man. I hope we can go to semi-final UCL .. WE need to be Elite Club in this world .not only Domestic Cup but we need European Cup. TQ

    • February 8, 2015  8:29 pm by David Walker Reply

      Thanks for your feedback. I'd much prefer that Manuel and the team get back on track. Pellegrini is a top class manager but things have to change if we are to have any chance of retaining the title. It doesn't look too clever at the moment but you never know. A run of wins and we could be right back in there.

  9. February 8, 2015  8:20 pm by Alison Reply

    Cracking honest article again David which I enjoyed reading because it is fact, not that I enjoy us in this situation.

    • February 8, 2015  8:27 pm by David Walker Reply

      Thanks Alison - I don't like criticising the team I've supported for 46 years, or casting doubt on MP. I think he's a good coach and a nice guy BUT there are things that are blatantly wrong and they don't appear to being adequately addressed. We're not done yet - a loss and 2 draws by Maureen's mob and we can catch up, but not if we have any repeats of yesterday.

  10. February 8, 2015  11:35 pm by Philip Entwistle Reply

    Abject, devoid of any ideas or class, 90 minutes watching that dross was the waste of a Saturday afternoon. Nothing you wrote David made any sense, not because of what you wrote, a totally forthright assessment, but what we watched. How can any team full of power, decisive flowing football of last season think that this performance was acceptable. Keep up the good work, hopefully your message will get through to the powers that be.

    • February 8, 2015  11:48 pm by David Walker Reply

      Thanks Phil - the powers that be don't want to know me, but as long I have the time & inclination I'll write my little old blog for all the good it does. You're right it is utterly nonsensical that a team as talented as ours can continually perform at such a low level. There's something amiss with the levels of application from some players - they lack real drive and desire to carry on achieving - it's as if we will only truly contest the PL every other season. A BIG shake up required of personnel and maybe, just maybe, the coaching staff.

  11. February 9, 2015  5:35 am by Sun Jih Huey Reply

    David, I must one day learn not to rely on your comments to cheer me up every time we were dreadful.

    I pray the Sheik's spiritual Guru could inject some holy Spirit into our team soon. I cannot wake my baby every time Vinny mis-kicked a last minute corner rebound.

    Thank you sincerely for being a true Blue Moon whom shines through us.

    • February 9, 2015  7:29 am by David Walker Reply

      How do I react to such a comment other than to say thanks for reading and commenting!

  12. February 9, 2015  7:33 am by Guvnor Reply

    Looks like you're sharpening the knives. You won't be when we beat Barca guys. CTWD remember

    • February 9, 2015  7:53 am by David Walker Reply

      You know I am a big supporter of MP, but how many times can you be expected to sit and watch the same brainless ploy at every match? Let's wait and see how laid back you feel if City launch more than a dozen aimless corners in against Leicester on March 4th! Any sharp implements will happily be confined to the drawer if we make it through the Champions League Quarter Final draw...(did you see what I did there ;-) ?) Thanks Guvnor.

  13. February 9, 2015  12:40 pm by Doug Henshaw Reply

    A very damming article Dave but 100% accurate. You don't see thing through blue tinted glasses Dave you tell it like it is im fast losing trust with MP he just doesn't or wont see that things need to change. the people at the top have also got to be looked at. What happened to the swashbuckling team from last season & the corners is just a joke people saying we will be alright when Toure & Bony get back & we might be but we have good enough players to have manage without them. I'm hoping Sat was as bad as it gets & im on here eating humble pie would love MP & the rest to prove me wrong but at moment i cant see it.

    • February 9, 2015  8:41 pm by David Walker Reply

      Save a slice of that pie for me Doug! It's the first time I am genuinely concerned that this isn't a blip this is a slide. Oh, and don't forget the gravy ;-)

  14. February 9, 2015  4:47 pm by OZYMANDIAS Reply

    In times of victories the bad things go hidden in the good things and viceversa...the things is to keep the mind cool and be objective..

    *Corners are not the center of city problems... defense bad form and midifeld bad form are.

    *Is funny how people say things about fernandinho when he was the core of a midfield that runs a team scoring 158 in a season...yaya was the scorer yes, but he cannot do it so much without dinho...and this season he has been our best player in defensive term with clichy and demichelis so keep that in mind.

    *Saturday i was Watching Atletico de madrid destroy real madrid (4-0) with a squad infinity inferior in quality to chelsea and city...I reach the conclusion that manuel pellegrini lack of tactical acumen is the core of all city problems, diego simeone (hopefully our next manager) has the same problem as pellegrini but he can disguise then with tactics, changing players, 3 or 4 formation in a game... its crazy.... pellegrini is static as it comes in term of game impact...the hull game was a demostration of it..he ended the game with team that should start the game...if manchester city wins this title he has to give his medal to yaya toure, simply as that...

    *I hear atletico de madrid wants jovetic...I will not a surprise if he goes to spain and start scoring goal with simeone a manager who control de the moments of his teams..not the contrary..as manuel knows :(

    • February 9, 2015  8:44 pm by David Walker Reply

      Interesting comments - I presume you like Atletico ;-) Let's not jump to conclusions yet, MP hasn't become a bad manager overnight - City can conceivably still retain the title.

  15. February 9, 2015  7:21 pm by thomas chapman Reply

    il have to admit it but when i saw readbutneverred and dunce cap in the top stories on newsnow i thought o god what is this bitter red saying now. shorly after i realised that this isnt a red website at all and that this article is completely spot on. here's my two sense on the situation, most of the comments on here are right. YET AGAIN we need another massive overhaul of the squad which were going to be scrutinised yet again for. players that need shipping jovetic(10-15 mil) dzeko(20 mil) kolarov (10 mil) navas (10 mil) fernando(10 mil) sagna(3 mil) BUT WE ALL KNOW THIS WILL NEVER HAPPEN :( if we could get rid of every single one of them and bring in 4 top quality buys along with promoting the likes lopes/denayer/rekik/ambrose/hiwula/cole i would have hope for pellegrini at least until the end of his contract next year but im afraid going out to barca and losing another game will all but end our pitiful season and the engineer will be out the door, this won't be necessarily a bad thing as the list of potential suiters looks quite appealing if i do say so myself. I could only imagine a pep city side and the levels of amazement we would see he is for sure my no.1 and im guessing txixi and ferans too. Simeone may be untested but man is his team dogged determined and tactically perfect either one would be a no brainer in my opinion as each would have a big 10 yr contract in them which we havnt seen the like of at city since ive been alive 3rd on my list would be vieira of course( played for city for 1 year and is now a club legend :P) havn't got one bad word to say about him and the work hes doing with our youth so 3 viable options rigt there. POGBA/REUS/CLYNE/INGS OR RODRIGUEZ OR AUSTIN, then the promotion of lopes/denayer/rekik/hiwula/cole would be so perfect for us but again this is al dreamland talk and we'll be lucky to even get/sell any of the players on my list. bit of a rant i do apologise but again great article will be for sure keeping my eye for ur future articles keep up the good work dave (y)

    • February 9, 2015  8:40 pm by David Walker Reply

      The clue is in the name of the blog ;-) hopefully read but absolutely 1000% NEVER red! Thanks for the feedback TC. Your shopping list could easily be achieved along with Khedira on a Bosman from Real Madrid. There has to come a time when some of the youth are let loose and perhaps the most exciting of the lot - Thierry Ambrose could save us a fortune. And lest we forget Kelechi Iheanacho. I'd happily retain Navas and Sagna but I wouldn't bet against the rest leaving along with Fernandinho.

      Anyway, we can all play 'Football Manager' but I'm more than happy to leave it to MP - I genuinely like the man - and hope he can get this title defence back on track.

      If you look back at my other blogs they are usually very effusive in their praise of the club I have supported for 46 years. I don't like being critical but I'm not a MCFC mouthpiece or sychophant.

  16. February 10, 2015  4:28 am by Simon Wilson Reply

    We all know the lads can do it; we have seen it time and again. However, I can't but wonder what is slightly "off" this season. I have no answer and do not know enough to play arm chair manager. If the trust in MP is lost (and I hope not) then my pipe dream of patience and then a dynasty will blown out of the window. He's got 14 games to sort it out but he needs a squad willing to dig deep. Boys, you know who you are!

    • February 10, 2015  9:06 am by David Walker Reply

      Thanks Simon - irrespective of FFP, injuries the bloody AFCON etc, City should still have enough in their locker to do better against mid-table and lower teams. MP has another season on his contract and, unless Pep is willing to come to City this summer, Pellegrini should see out his term. The biggest factor will be how City operate in the transfer market. We've spent - mis-spent an awful lot of money in the last 18 months. We have to improve in this area.

      Back to the present, yes, a number of our players have to step up & stop being lightweight big-time Charlies.

  17. February 11, 2015  3:54 am by Simon Wilson Reply

    Just watched interviews with BJM, Lamps and ED. They are saying the right things. Let's hope we can break the 16 year drought at the Britannia! Now, more than ever! Superbia ....

    • February 11, 2015  7:18 am by David Walker Reply

      Bloody hope so - it'll warm the heart at a chilly Britannia tonight. We CAN do this, of course we can!

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